John Terry will put his England captaincy in jeopardy if allegations are proved that he offered secret, unsanctioned tours of the Chelsea training ground in return for £10,000 in cash with a ticket tout acting as his middleman.
The Independent understands that senior figures at the Football Association are concerned about the latest allegations concerning Terry in the News of the World yesterday. Terry has denied that he was paid £10,000 by an undercover reporter in return for the training ground tour. He had originally claimed the money was going to charity.
Terry played yesterday in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with West Ham, in which Frank Lampard was twice ordered by the referee Mike Dean to retake his second-half penalty that ultimately earned his side a point. Terry's Sunday was overshadowed by allegations that an associate, Tony Bruce, organised the tour with Terry, warning the undercover reporter to keep the episode secret. "If the club finds out, as well, it's a little bit ... you know," he said.
In a statement yesterday, released before the match at Upton Park, Chelsea denied that Terry had taken any money. A Chelsea spokesman said: "Contrary to media reports ... the club is confident that at no time did John Terry ask for, or accept, any money in relation to visits to the training ground."
The alleged tour involved Terry taking the reporter into the inner sanctum of the training ground at Cobham in Surrey. A spokesman for Chelsea said: "Chelsea FC hosts a large number of visitors at the training ground throughout the year, the majority of which are made up of club sponsors, our charity partners and supporters.
"The players play a big part in these visits and John Terry naturally has a leading role, hosting a significant number of children and their families this season through our partner charities Help a London Child and Right to Play. John has also organised a number of visits for families with sick children as a result of personal correspondence.
"Chelsea FC gives our players room to exercise their own discretion when contacted personally with regard to visits, and the club keeps security and access under constant review.
"However, as a result of the security breach highlighted by today's article, we will be further reviewing access to our facilities and clamping down where there are gaps in the process."
Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday that Terry had done "nothing wrong". "This [allegation] is not correct," the Chelsea manager said. "This is not true. I think the club, me, the players, have a lot of confidence in John Terry."
On his twice retaken penalty, Lampard said: "I didn't need that at all, especially after missing one a few weeks back. When you are told to take it again you wonder whether something bad is going to happen. I wish he'd told me to retake the one against City."
The West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, complained Dean had been wrong to award the penalty. "The referee saw it right in the first place because he didn't give anything," he said. "I'm disappointed he trusted the linesman's view. He should have stuck with his first decision."Reuse content